Everywhere and all day long you can do a simple google search and you’ll find multiple, if not handfuls of people screeching at the top of their lungs that sugar is the worst thing on earth (a little dramatic, but you know what we mean). We want to have an actual conversation about sugar and hopefully destigmatize it for our listeners today. So let’s fucking do this, sugar ain’t your enemy.


  1. Yes. We’ve also all been told that carbs are bad, and if you’ve listened to this podcast, you know that that simply isn’t true. ANY thing you consume in a surplus is going to have a negative impact either immediately or over the long run on your diet, potentially your health, and may cause weight gain.
    • Is sugar fattening? Guess what? That depends. If you’re picking up on a theme for fitness and nutrition journeys, you’re right. Most things are not cut and paste.
    • There has been a lot of research over the years done on sugar. The general conclusion is this: Sugar CAN contribute to weight gain. But there’s nothing special about sugar that makes it the devil or fattening agent it’s made out to be.
  2. Sugar can, most definitely, increase your caloric intake. Over the years, food has “evolved”… meaning there are more additives, more preservatives etc added to our food to make it more palatable and appetizing. 
    • The one thing to always, always remember when having a conversation about nutrition, or weight gain itself, is that for the average adult human, with no medical conditions, the only way to gain weight is by eating in a caloric surplus.
    • When people consume food containing added sugar, they tend to consume more calories. However, when people consume sugar just by itself, they do not consume large amounts of it. 
  3. From blog.nasm.org: A study completed by Richter and Campbell of Johns Hopkins University and published in the Journal of Nutrition in 1940 found that when given access to pure raw sugar separate from their food, rodents consumed the same amount of calories as they did when there was no sugar present.  They found that it is the combination of sugar mixed in with the food that makes them consume more calories.


  1. There are various studies that have looked into sugar and it’s direct effects or correlation to fat gain. We’ve linked some in the show notes if you’d like to read through them yourself.
    • In the first linked report, researchers studied folks that were fed a diet where something like 43% of there diet was comprised of sugar, BUT they were in a caloric deficit. The individuals in the study lost weight over a 6 week span of time.
    • In the second study, participants were given a high sugar liquid drink as their diet and they lost a fuck load of weight. Why? They were in a caloric deficit. LOUDER FOR THOSE IN THE BACK.
  2. We reference these studies to say this: if you eat sugar, you’re not going to gain weight. You’re going to gain weight if you are eating more calories than what your body can utilize. We’ve done a whole podcast episode on how this works, so make sure you go back in binge if you missed it!
    • Just so we’re covering all of our bases, from that same nasm blog: High sugar intake is widely known as being associated with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. However, this information needs to be interpreted with a bit of caution. 
  3. People who consume large amounts of sugar also tend to have a cluster of other unhealthy behaviors that are associated with heart disease, such as: drinking, smoking, being overweight, low physical activity, and high blood pressure. 
    • AND: many of the associations with sugar only appear once the sugar levels are above a certain threshold, often in amounts that have exceeded a reasonable moderate intake.


  1. We can’t leave this episode without getting nerdy for a second. So let’s talk about what sugar actually is. Sugar is a broad brush and can be describing a plethora of things from candy, to fruit to honey and syrup.
    • You see a lot of people try to further break things down into good and bad sugars. Good sugars in their mind being naturally occurring and bad sugars being processed sugar like high fructose corn syrup.
      • Let’s go to the mayo clinic for the skinny cuz we aren’t doctors… “High fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener in sodas and fruit-flavored drinks. As use of high-fructose corn syrup has increased, so have obesity levels and related health problems, so some people wonder if there’s a connection.
      • High-fructose corn syrup is chemically similar to plain table sugar, but there’s controversy about how the body metabolized HFCS in comparison to table sugar… BUT according to Mayo Clinic, “there’s insufficient evidence at this time to say that high-fructose corn syrup is any less healthy than other types of sweeteners.”
      • So there you go, straight from the doctors at the number one hospital in the country, HFCS isn’t this horrible asshole that’s going to kill you as long as you consume it in moderation.
  2. Sugars are a carb, the primary role being energy. There are three forms of sugar: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. 
    • Monosaccharides AKA simple sugars: glucose, fructose and galactose. 
      • We covered glucose at length in another episode, so we’ll break down fructose and galactose now:
      • Fructose is a sugar naturally found in fruit but also found in processed items like table sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Fructose is converted into glucose by the liver and then released into the blood for use.
      • Galactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products and it’s metabolized similarly to fructose.
      • Oligosaccharides are one of the components of fiber found in plants which our bodies partially break down into glucose. These sugars are found in a lot of vegetables
      • Polysaccharides are found in starch ( or the energy stores of plants) and cellulose which is naturally occurring fiber in plants.
  3. Regardless of the sugar consumed, surprise, they are all going to end up glucose in your body. Our body cannot tell the difference between the natural sugar found in fruit, honey or milk, and the processed sugar found in a kitkat.

TL;DR: have your dang sugar in moderation, just like everything else. Unless your doctor is telling you need to cut back for medical reasons.

Stop demonizing food and enjoy what you like in moderation.








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